Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, touted as a candidate in Taiwan's 2020 presidential election, on Friday met with Liu Jieyi, director of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, who both agreed on enhancing cross-strait relations, something that could irritate the Trump administration.
Jieyi said both sides of the Taiwan Strait are "one family" but avoided saying phrases like "one country, two systems" and "peaceful reunification" during the closed-door meeting, reported Focus Taiwan.
Wen-je, who was in Shanghai for the Taipei-Shanghai Twin-City forum, met with Jieyi at a guest house Friday night.
"The trend is unstoppable," Jieyi said, adding that China is committed to improving cross-strait relations following the guidance of Chinse President Xi Jinping.
Even if the meeting was closed-door, the conference is considered a significant gravitational shift, one where Taiwan could lean more towards China than the US.
During a press conference, Jieyi shared the achievements between Shanghai and Taipei in the past decade and his vision of a friendly environment in Taiwan Strait.
Jieyi said he had read Wen-je's book titled "Taipei -- A Proud City with Progressive Values" and said the mayor's pursuit of serving his constituents and bringing innovation in the city was similar with China's mission to lift millions out of poverty through technological advances.
He also said, "people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait are one family and should help each other," referring to travel and trade statistics.
While China suspended official contacts with Taiwan, Wen-je said that the Taipei-Shanghai forum is the "only official platform of communications between the two sides."
Taiwan and China have been ruled separately since the 1949 split. Beijing still regards Taiwan as a province to be reunited with the mainland, by military force if necessary.
The Trump administration has made strong gestures in support of Taiwan, including the "Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019," which supports Taiwan with "regular sales and defense articles." There have also been more frequent reconnoissances missions with US warships in the Taiwan Strait. This comes at a time when the trade war has escalated into an almost full economic war, that has severely strained US-China relations.
Readers have to understand the danger is growing of an actual shooting war that could involve China and the US sparring over Taiwan.